Gadsden, AL – The City of Gadsden has approved another improvement at The Venue at Coosa Landing that will support local economic development efforts, entrepreneurship and innovation in Gadsden and Etowah County.
“We’re excited to continue our development of the riverfront with an investment that will encourage the growth of the local economy,” said Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton.
Last week, the City Council approved a $1.4 million bid for the development of 7,000 square feet of unfinished space on the western side of The Venue to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the Gadsden community.
The development is being paid for with tax increment finance (TIF) funds, which can only be spent on infrastructure improvements within the designated TIF district.
The plan is for the renovated space at The Venue to be divided four ways: 25 percent as offices for the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority, 25 percent as offices for the East Central Alabama Area Health Education Council, 25 percent as coworking space, and 25 percent as common space.
The goal of the coworking space is to provide a place for individuals looking to begin a start-up company as well as individuals that are currently working from home but need an office space with a physical address.
A major aim of the space will be to focus on developing healthcare as an industrial sector within the city and county. The IDA added healthcare as a targeted industry for development in 2019.
The focus on healthcare provides another area of cooperation between the City of Gadsden, Gadsden State Community College and the IDA.
The IDA is working with Gadsden State to identify potential users for the coworking space of the new development.
The IDA is also working with GSCC and local healthcare providers to determine the classes needed to supply a skilled and qualified workforce to meet the needs of the future.
All rent from the facility will go to the City, and the IDA will administer its operation, except for the rental fees, which will be a part of the current Venue staff’s responsibility.
Additionally, the IDA will provide $200,000 in capital investment for the purchase of equipment to provide an online environment with fiber broadband connectivity.
Coosa Landing and the riverfront as a whole has been a focal point of development for the City of Gadsden for more than a decade. The site has played host to many local fishing tournaments, as well as state and national tournaments.
The Riverwalk Trail provides multiple piers to park boats, just under a mile of trails and boardwalks, a covered pavilion and a walkway to Buffalo Wild Wings, a restaurant recruited by the City to the site.
The Venue is the centerpiece of the development as a 55,000 square foot, multi-use facility that is one of the premiere meeting spaces in Northeast Alabama.
Even after using 7,000 square feet of unfinished space for the new office development, The Venue will have 14,000 square feet of space available for future development. It is anticipated that this space will be filled by start-up companies as they expand and grow to the point of needing larger space.